Officials from the White House stated that President Trump’s choice to come out of his coronavirus quarantine in order to do a drive-by in his motorcade for supporters outside Walter Reed hospital was declared to be “safe to do.”
A statement was released Sunday evening by White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere who defended the president’s decision to do the motorcade after he received tons of negative feedback from the mainstream media for doing it, saying he was unnecessarily putting his Secret Service detail at risk of being infected with COVID-19.
“Appropriate precautions were taken in the execution of this movement to protect the President and all those supporting it, including PPE,” said Deere. “The movement was cleared by the medical team as safe to do.”
Trump hinted that he was going to make a “little surprise visit” to the “patriots out there on the street” in a video statement released on social media before footage emerged of Trump, wearing a mask, waving at the cheering crowd from his motorcade. Footage of the event showed an agent wearing a full medical gown, a face-mask, and protective eye-gear.
Trump drives by the press and supporters outside Walter Reed hospital. pic.twitter.com/3phtKthqTH
— Philip Crowther (@PhilipinDC) October 4, 2020
Dr. James Phillips, the attending physician at Walter Reed, criticized the president for the stunt.
“Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days,” the doctor tweeted. “They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity.”
“That Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack. The risk of COVID-19 transmission inside is as high as it gets outside of medical procedures. The irresponsibility is astounding. My thoughts are with the Secret Service forced to play,” Phillips went on to add.
The president first checked into Walter Reed Hospital on Friday. Trump’s medical team says that his condition continues to improve and that release is possible as early as Monday.